Thursday, May 31, 2012

1910 Reunion Baby Carriage and baby

click on picture to enlarge for details

This is the baby carriage taught at the Cleveland Convention in 2011 by Pat Boldt.  I did not take the class but got an extra kit from her.  Sometime during the year part of the instructions got separated from the kit, and I had to fudge the weaving a little.  But I think it turned out pretty nice.  I have made other wicker pieces out of waxed linen before so I knew how to make it work.   I decided to paint it brown instead of leaving it white.   The baby I made in her other class and it was very easy and fun to make.  Pat is a doll maker and also a dealer at most of the shows.  You can go on her web site online.  Google- Pat Boldt and it will come up.  I think this will be a great addition to the reunion scene.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A sweet repose on top of a mystery mountain

A traveling salesman takes a nap in a boat after his wagon wheel breaks-click on picture for details-Undereneath the mermaids are rocking the boat

Click for details of wagon contents

Elves living underneath the mountain

Elves carting off contents from the wagon  click on picture for details

Elves carting off contents from wagon as owner sleeps

This is one of my first room boxes that I ever built.  The theme is a traveling smithy and his wagon stop off for a nap in a boat and his wheel breaks.  Unbeknown to the sleeping man the elves are carting off his goods.  The skeletons are also under the mountain.  On the front, you cannot see very well, there are mermaids in the water underneath the boat.  The resin has clouded up a bit.  I made the mountain out of Styrofoam that gets holes in it when you spray paint.  When painted it looks like a rocky limestone ledge.  At this time these elves were popular at Christmas and available in a set.  I have never saw them again, but they are so cute.  The little houses, furniture and tables and trees were popular at one time, they were mushroom covered cardboard.  On the back side is a little house underneath and there is pie baking going on top of a stump.   I filled in with gravel rocks, mosses, and white deer moss.  The wagon was from a kit in the boys section in a craft store.  It was a covered wagon and I took off the cover.

This was one of my first tries with resin.  One that I learned a lot from.  The gas and heat from resin is not as bad as it used to be.  I remember looking into the container and got a whiff of the resin.  I had choking fits all day.  Use adequate ventilation  with resin.  Even though the resins have changed somewhat and are almost orderless, still use proper ventilation, rubber gloves and prepare for the heat that comes off it.  Place somewhere it is not going to have to be moved.  It does take time to cure.  If you use inside plastic you must coat with a thin layer of glue to keep resin from eating your plastic.  If you use in metal, coat with a thin glue layer to prevent the resin from getting rusty from the metal later.  I used to make dolls in a washtub with bubbles on tops.  After many years the water resin which was  clear at one time became very brown.  It became very dirty water.  If you received one of these pans, I truly am sorry.  We all have to learn sometimes the hard way.  I did not have anyone to tell me otherwise.

I must say I have enjoyed the technology changes over the years, which have helped in the growth of miniatures and sharing with friends worldwide.  We have come a long way since the first America On Line.    With a snap of a digital camera, within minutes we can download, edit and post on to a blog, face book, twitter.  We can blog, post pictures and place a How to in less time than it takes to walk to the mailbox.  The comments from our labors are always welcome, and spurs us on to better things.   We are able to keep up to date with current happenings in miniatures, like the shows, what, who, when.  When someone needs encouragement, help finding someone or something, we are there in our on line groups, or with a click of a button, we can find what we are looking for.  Shopping has never been easier with EBay and Etsy.  Of course the downside has been the fall of many brick and mortar stores.  I used to plan a vacation around what and where the mini stores were.

There are so many talented people out there sharing ideas, pictures, and inspiration.  If you find a blog you like, see who they follow.  Many times you will find others that you would never find out about otherwise.

If you are looking for printables, google--free miniature printables-  over a thousand sites come up.  It will keep you busy for a long time.   As you save, right click once inside the web site, jot down on paper what was in it you liked.  It will save you a lot of time when looking for a future project.  I love these mini share sites, and would like to thank each and every one that posts and shares with other miniaturists.  The more you share the more you will be blessed with more ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1910 reunion Update

1910 Family Reunion picture

Making progress on the Family Reunion click on picture for details/

You may have remembered me blogging on another month about the 1910 Family reunion room box I wanted to recreate.  Well, the car is done, the table and chairs are done, the food and table is all set.  Now all I have to do is finish and start on the people.   I used up all my odds and ends  dishes and silverware from other projects.   I did not have to make too much food, I had quite a lot from swaps and tote bag favors.

 I started  to make the brick on Duff Goldman's fondant molds with Fimo.  However it was 90 degrees out yesterday.  The first sheet was terrific, but I counted I would need 6 more just like it.    By the time I got to my second sheet of fimo it was all goo.  Not patient enough for the refrigerator, I wanted instant gratification so I went online and printed out a couple of sheets of bricks on card stock.    It works for all that will be showing by the time the dolls are on there.  The brick mold would work for a smaller surface  area and really did look good, but sometimes you just want to get it done already.  It was so hot yesterday and I developed a little poison ivy all over my arms and fingers during my staycation.

  I found a cool corner and put together a baby carriage that Pat  Boldt taught at  Convention last year.  I did not take the class but she had an extra kit.. Some of the instructions must have got lost since last year, because I had to fudge the weaving a little.  It came out pretty good and I will share with you as soon as the upholstery is finished and the wicker is painted.  I made the beautiful baby in the lace gown for it at Convention.  This will take its place with the car in the Reunion scene.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tutorial-Halloween coffin from eyeglass case

Materials you will need to make  eyeglass coffin-plastic skeleton, cheesecloth, tea bag, eyeglass case with a hinged back, crackle medium, white paint, glue, 4 chess pieces or dowels for legs, black satin or black rubber no skid mat for chair and drawer lining, trim to finish off raw edges, black bunka or

Paint the eyeglass case with crackle medium.  Outside only.  The color of the case will be the crackle color.  If it is not a great color paint black first.  Let crackle dry.  Then paint with white paint in a smooth one direction stoke.  Crackle starts right away.  Let dry over a paint bottle

Apply glue to the inside of the eyeglass case.  Line with drawer liner or other material.  Push and fill into all corners.  Let dry and trim off excess material.  Cover all around raw edges with bunka or other trim
Trim off chess pieces or dowels to make legs .  Apply with glue to bottom.  Tea dye long strips of the cheese cloth.  Put tea bags in hot water and soak the cheese cloth in for about 15 minutes.   Wring out with your hands and let dry naturally.  It will have blotches of color that way.  Cut in strips about 1 inch wide.  Wrap the plastic skeleton in the cheese cloth and glue the ends.

A finished room box using the above tutorial eyeglass coffin

These eyeglass cases can be found at any Dollar type store for 1.00.  I have found them at thrift stores for .25cents. They may be used but your only going to paint them and make them into something else.  Garage sales usually have these in the free box.    The above room box I will blog on another day.  I made this as a gift for a former boyfriend of my daughter.

Halloween Room Box #4

Click on picture for details
Right click to save to picture file-Halloween bag

Right click to save to picture file- Halloween bag

Right click to save to picture file.  Labels for bottles

Right click to save to picture files-treat box
Save to picture file and reduce to mini size
Save to picture file and reduce to size

This is the final side of the Halloween room box.  All the dolls were made by me.  This was a fun box to do and kept me busy for a long time. 

 Right click on any of the pictures above and save to picture files.  Reduce if necessary for your own use in your own Halloween box.  Have Fun!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Elvis Lives!!!!!!

Elvis Lives!!

If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can see the tombstone I forgot to mention in previous writings.  It is in the shape of Elvis and it says Elvis lives.  The purple RIP coffin is a bubble gum container I found at Halloween.  The skelton paper is scrapbook paper found at Joanne Fabrics.  The guitar I found at a cake decorating store and used nail polish to jazz it up a bit.

Halloween Room box side #2

Click on pictures for details and enlarge

Click on picture for details and enlarge

This is side 2 of yesterdays Halloween room box.  The fall leaves are cut out of real preserved leaves found at a craft store.  Using a leaf punch I must have punched out over 1,000 leaves total.  These are spread all over the ground of the roombox. 

The ideas and patterns for the costumes on the children came from books about Halloween Costumes.  Many of these books have line drawings  and scale drawings to be enlarged for your child.  One such book the drawings are just the size needed for 1/12 scale.  The bags for treats I purchased, but now with the free printables on line you can find many varietys available.   Just google, free printable mini Halloween and all kinds of things come up.

The doughnut treats are Fimo clay using a straw to cut them out.  The centers were cut out using a smaller straw like a coffee stir stick.  These coffee stir sticks are ideal for slicing thin and making onions for on top of pizza or on top of a casserole dish, salads etc.  After baking the doughnuts, use a pair of tweezers and drop into a pile of paint and then wholeless beads or glitter in a Halloween color.  The punch is resin with orange color added.  The little plastic skelton is from a pair of earrings I found at a junk store.  The cookies are from a cane I got at a show with pumpkin heads on them.  I sliced them thin for cookies.  The pop, chips are purchased, but now Chip bags are found online.  As I said in a previous post, save the seeds from Green peppers, toast in the oven until brown, and you have potatoe Chips.!

The carmel apples are made of Fimo  and baked with a toothpick inserted.  After baking dip into carmel colored paint. 

Halloween Room Box #3

Click on picture to enlarge for details

This is side #3 of the Halloween Room Box.  The finish on the little house is my favorite crackle technique.  It makes something look old in an instant.  The base is black, then the crackle medium is applied and allowed to dry.  The top coat is applied in one direction as quickly as possible and it starts to crackle instantly.  The pumpkin strings around the house and on the tree are necklaces purchased at a Dollar store.  Corn stalks are real cut down to size.  Now raffia is readily available and could be used.  Another alternate would be the thin twisted ribbon that when unwound is scrunchy and wrinkled.    The ghost and scarecrow on the house are scrapbook decorations.

The gravestones are made of granite Fimo or Sculpty clay.  I mixed a few colors together, pink and gray granite.  I cut out in gravestone shapes and used a pencil engraved sayings into the stones before baking.  This clay has sparkles in it and looks just like marble or granite when baked.    My shapes are rather plain, but now with all the cutters available you can fancy them up quite a bit.   Last year at the Dollar stores there were small plastic gravestones available for decoration.  I painted them and aged them.  They look pretty good.   To give the aged look after baking, thin down black or brown paint and apply onto stones and writing.  The paint will want to separate and run but when dry it is just the right effect.

  The library will have books on famous and infamous grave humor, as well of headstones that are pretty inspiring.   Such a book is Grave Humor by M. T. Coffin.  This person has traveled all over visiting grave yards taking pictures of  stones with a sense of Humor.  It is a photo tour of funny, ironic and ridiculous tombstones.   I took a historic graveyard tour last year and never realized the carvings on tombstones have significant meanings for people who know.  Much could be revealed from the tombstones about a person and their life. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Halloween Room Box side #1

Click on pictures for enlarged details

Halloween room boxes are lots of fun to make and view.  Mine has a lot of details on all 4 sides.
I will blog on each side separately as not to make the days blog too long.  The little house is one that was a kit about 15 years ago, one side is a porch and the other is the inside room of the house.

The Elvis is from a mold by Janna Joseph, made by me. The acorn wreath on the wall is real, tiny acorns, glued into a wreath.  Cornstalks are real cornstalks cut to side and tied up with a string.  Fence is a plastic fence that has been aged with thinned down black paint.  The plastic skeleton was put in very hot water and then formed to sit down on the hay bale.  The tree is wire covered with floral tape and painted shades of brown and beige, fall leaves glued on, and then covered with a sting, a necklace, of pumpkins.  The ghost is a Kleenex with a Styrofoam ball  tied with string around its neck.

  The picnic table is covered with pumpkins being carved.  They are Fimo formed over a large marble.  Baked in oven,  eyes and mouth carved out, use an exacto knife, then the lid, remove the marble.  The best stems for the lid on the pumpkin are real tomato stems.  So if you like tomatoes, remove the stem and it will dry like a pumpkin stem.  For the guts inside that have been removed, use orange fur, found at a craft store, and toasted sesame seed for the pumpkin seeds.  Mix all together with some Modge Podge and put on a newspaper with a small knife.

The apple filled metal wash pan has been coated with clear glue first, allowed to dry, and then resin added about half way, allow to dry .   Add apples that you have made out of fimo clay.  Mix up a small amount of resin and pour over the apples.  Doing this in two parts allows the apples to stay or float on the top instead of dropping to the bottom.

The other children dolls are made my me, but the heads or masks are made from rubber picks found at a craft store to make mini dolls, or to put into cupcakes as picks.  They have been cut in half and a small piece of elastic poked into a hole on either side to make into a mask. 

Other trinkets and doo-dads were picked up at a cake decorating store, close to Halloween.  Some leave out their items all year ,others do not.

The attic of this house that is covered over with a white hair net, to resemble a giant spider web, is a mouse house.  It has mice and 1/144 furniture inside.  A kitchen, bath, bedroom and living room, all with plastic premade furniture.  I found black ants at a Magic store and cut the head and bottom to make  the giant spiders on the web.  They used to carry these ants at the dollar stores a few years ago, but I have not saw them recently. 

This is side #1 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Roombox basket

A basket just right for a room box

I found 2 of these baskets this week at different garage sales.    11 inches round and 8 inches high.  What a great room box.  The front is cut out.  Just enough room for a peek hole.   I still haven't put my NAME Convention items in anything from Indiana.  The theme was Family Reunion.  A lot of the items are picnic related.  Since I found 2 my neighbor and I apparently have a new Project to work on.  I thought a picnic around the 4th of July with fire crackers and red white and blue decorations. 

They are well made baskets, not marked, they would also be great for a underground scene, like mice, and putting a cover on top a above ground scene going on at the same time.  An Easter bunny scene underneath and a flower arrangement on top.   I have seen these before but the price was not right.   Perhaps it is something you can be on the look out for and use in a project .  I took these at $1.00 each.

A web site  I really like is called Pinterest.  If you have not visited it yet you need to check it out.  So many creative people around the world.  Pictures, recipes, gardens, clothes, hair, nail ideas, miniatures and inspiration.  There is a section on posters and pictures, which I have printed out or saved many of those for mini use.  There are a lot of mini people posting their pictures of miniatures and projects. If something is to your liking you pin it into a board of your own.  When you want to reference back you just go to your board and click it.  It will take you to the web site, newsletter, or where ever it came from originally.   When someone likes or repins your items pininterest e mails you.   I have all my miniatures posted  on there, and people can follow you when you post something new.  It is a great site and one of the fastest growing ones too.

Another website that is for creative people, about a billion people follow this one, Martha Stewart featured it on her show.  For creative people to buy and sell.  Lots of miniatures on this one. Select by entering what you are looking for and it takes you right to it. It is not like E Bay where you put in bids, but what you see is what you get and the price is posted.  It is sort of like little stores online, and most of the selling price goes to the seller.  A lot of Fimo min food artists sell on this site.  Miniature furniture, dolls, and other mini objects are on there.   Check it out, you will be amazed at the inspiration you receive.

Dollar Tree Find-dog cage

A very happy dog--- The deer is gone
Dollar Tree find-dog cage

My friend next door wants to make a room box for her friend that has a kennel.  In it she has dog cages stacked on top of each other.  I was in a quandry of what to use for the cages when I happened to find these at the Dollar Tree.  I think it is a lion that perhaps swells up when wet.  It has a clear plastic box inside.  It was tougher than I thought it would be to get that box broke to put the dog inside.  But with a little elbow grease and a hammer and screwdriver I got it all broke and tore apart.  The bottom floor comes off and we can lay newspapers down on the floor just like a real kennel.  Her cages are black so no painting will be necessary.

An update from yesterday on my little friend hiding in the ditch.  During the night I heard it calling its mother, a hi pitched , schrill plea.  She must have  deceided to come back thru and get her child during the night, because I checked this morning and it was gone.  Only the weeds gave an indicator where they had laid.  Deer have a path they follow every day about the same time, evidently childbirth must have disrupted this Doe's time clock.  Its amazing, drop her load and move on to catch up with the others and pick your child up on the next round.     After I checked to see if the little critter was or was't there this morning, I let the dogs out and thats the first place they went.  Feloney was very happy to see it go because she was not allowed off her chain after discovering the new kid on the block.  I'm glad she came back, my daughter had dreams of another pet.  Cute but quite against the law!   I'm sure I will meet this little creature again as they run out in front of me on the country roads.  I know how and where they move deer hunters, but you will never get it out of me! 

 You don't have to leave home to have an adventure. A twelve foot black snake slithered out in front of me while I was weeding.  I deceided to take a break after that one. I have encounted it before.  They like to stay around bird houses and take the eggs.  I have a lot of bird houses (miniatures) perched around.  We have plenty of birds, but living in the country we have lots of mice and other pests.  So, unless the snake deceides to wrap itself around my neck and choke me, it can stay.  The mice and moles are a whole lot scarier to me than snakes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An unexpected surprise !!!

I had an unexpected surprise today across the yard from my house.  The dogs were playing with this new born fawn.  It was still shakey on its legs, so it must be only a day or so old.  I have a field across from my house that has a ditch that runs next to my drive.    The mother must have thought this was a great place to hide her baby in the weeds, next to water.  It was not much bigger than the Chiwawa that my daughter brought home.

I took a staycation this week.  Its a vacation that you stay at home.  Lots of yard work, painting, planting, and getting the porches ready for summer relaxing.  I have to admit even though it is the country it is not quiet..  We have a donkey across the street that is very vocal when it sees you.  He is talking all the time.  The farmers all around are planting and plowing the fields.  My neighbor planted mine with soy beans last week, and this week I awake to the sound of wild turkeys.  Such curious creatures all over the fields picking up the beans out of the holes.  My daughter has a Cockitiel that talks and sings all the time.  Now that the windows are open the wild birds outside are mocking the bird inside.  Who's teaching who?

The chickens are glad to see me everyday and be outside in the pen.  I mix up special treats for them to pick at all day, and of course lets not forget the quacking duck who loves his own kiddie pool of water.

And last but not least, the dogs are happy to be outside during the day supervising whatever I am doing.  Carting off my tools, gloves and weeds and sticks, making yet more work for me.  What is life without play.  At the end of the day, I brush off the dirt, and go play with my miniatures, dogs at my feet and the bird singing all my favorite tunes.  I love when he talks to me.  He wolf whistles and lets me know I am a pretty bird. And on that note   I know life will be OK.

Miss Marples Green House

Miss Marple's Green House  click on pictures to enlarge for details.

This is a room box that I made a few years ago.  The greenhouse  is made from a pattern that ran in Nutshell News a long time ago.  It has real brick floors and side walls.  All the plants inside and out are handmade by myself.  I made the dolls, Miss Marple and her friend are enjoying a brewski in a heart shaped trellis.  The fencing around the scene is a plastic fence readily available at a miniature store.  There are birds and butterflies inside the green house.

I took this picture outside in the yard in the full sun.  I makes it look more realistic.

Miss Marple is a British Mystery on Masterpiece Theatre.  I started watching them and became quite hooked.  There are two women that play Miss Marple, but each are great  playing their parts.  She lives in a little cottage and becomes involved in mysteries  the Detectives are working on.  Everyone thinks she is an old busybody but she is quite proficient in her findings, seeing things that most people do not.   Most libraries have the DVDs of the seasons for both series.  PBS is the station they are played on.

Trash to treasure-Walgreens face creme cakes

Completed cakes from Walgreen's Face Serum lids- click on picture for detail

50th Anniversary cake

Wedding Cake

4th of July Cake

Here are 3 cakes made from the Walgreen Face Serum Lids.  I tried all kinds of icing, and trust me the only thing that is worth using is just plain old Gesso.  Use about 3 coats and let dry in between coats.  Using a 1/4 paint brush works best.  I started using a miniature knife, Spackle, paint, clay.  The gesso works best especially if it is really thick.  Available at any art department, artists use to prime their canvas.

  The Wedding cake has around each layer a fine thin lace that I glued on and then painted over with a thin coat of white puffy paint.  The lace details still show thru on the lace..  The roses are made of  Pink Fimo with a little transparent mixed in.  This was run thru very thin on the pasta machine and wound around a tooth pick using tweezers to pull the petals down.  The leaves are cut using an exacto knife and running a vein in the center.  Before gluing the roses on I topped the cake with a clear sparkle bunka that has been pulled thin.  It looks like spun sugar on top. Then glue on the roses, rose buds and leaves.

The 4th of July cake is Gesso and the red, white and blue ribbon is a trim I had.  Glue around each round of cake.  The tiny stars are scrap book brads glued onto the trim.  The top I used a silver bunka, stretched out and mounded in the center.  Uncle Sam was from a Charm bracelet I got last year at Dollar Tree or Joanne Fabrics.  The flags are from Jolee's Scrapbook found at Joanne Fabrics.  They were so tiny and on a string for a banner.  I took them off and slid  onto straight pins and attached to the icing while still wet.

The 50th Anniversary cake is gold themed.  I painted with gesso, and glued on a tiny heart lace with the bottom points going up.  A thin coat of gesso was painted over the lace and while still wet, I sprinkled gold hole less beads all over.  If I make another with the hearts I will just put glue in the center of the heart and then sprinkle with the beads just in the center.  The top is gold bunka, stretched out and bunched on the top of the cake.  On this one I left the tube coming out the top for height.
A jewel find center the 3 bell beads around the top that I painted gold and glued around.

The bases the cakes are centered on are from Wilton cake Decorating found at Joanne Fabrics.  They are the shortest pillars
and come 5 to a pack.  I made wood squares look like marble and glued on top and the bottom.  These are great or statues, cakes vases or plants.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trash to Treasure

A face cream Wedding cake?

Enamel trays from earrings?

A few trash to treasure items I found while I was thinking small.  A set of nasty 1980 earrings looked like trays to me.  I will cut off the backs and use them for breakfast trays.  .25 cents was a great buy.  I can't believe we wore these things, and worse.

The top picture is of  a lotion dispenser that comes from a lotion  Walgreen's carries that is a take off of Oil Of Olay Face Serum.  Walgreen's serum 1/2 the price of the other and works just as great. Makes your face smooth as a babys backside and no wrinkles.   As I was throwing away the top I noticed I was throwing  a 3 tier Wedding cake in the trash.. It takes a little muscle and a pair of pliers to take out the tube because there is a spring inside.  The results are well worth it.   The spring is nice too, but nothing comes to mind on that one.  The tube end looks like a beer bottle but I crushed it with the pliers.  Perhaps if I used a saw it could become a bottle, it would even have a perfect hole on the end.  The top of the dispenser  that you push looks like a bike seat.

The cake will be painted with paint or gesso, or I will use Fimo made to look like fondant.  Tiny roses made from Fimo and baked in the oven.  The lid is hard plastic and I don't think it will melt at 250 degrees, but I will try before putting all that work into it.   Carl Bronson taught a class on how to make a icing bag from paper in miniature.  I look forward to making these and sharing the results.  I have a bride and groom for the top from a  wedding swap I participated in.  Just as I get on a roll with these, Walgreens will probably change their design on the bottle!

A garage sale find

A garage sale find that works perfectly click on picture for details.

I found this fireplace at a garage sale  more than a few years back for $2.00.  It is plaster of paris and the bricks are carved into it.  It is signed and numbered on the back.  I believe it goes with the Byers Collectible series.  It is 5 1/2 inches long high and 8 inches long.  It has a metal crane for a pot and 2 warming ovens or bake ovens.  The mantel is carved to look like a log.  There are a few spots that need fixed and filled in with plaster, but over all I think this will work.  Ignore the giant curve on the logs beside the fireplace.  I told you this was rustic and not perfect.  I will look forward to putting this all together.  I will share this when I have completed it entirely, hopefully this year yet. 

 As I have mentioned before I usually have a few projects started at a time, and jump from one to another.   I am sharing  time with the 1910 reunion project.  The tables are finished and I am working on the food. 

 The dolls are next.  I am teaching my neighbor girl how to  pour porcelain dolls.  We will be making Elvis and Shirley Temple.  Not to be used in the reunion project but she likes those. 

I recently purchased a set of baby molds by Cynthia Howe Miniatures.   They are a boy and girl baby sleeping and awake.  They are anatomically correct, and so adorable.   She has a web site of all her molds, trims, and  online classes.  Google Cynthia Howe Miniatures and it will come right up. 

Log cabin update click on picture for detail

I spent some time painting on my log cabin.  The close up is details of the wood as it turned out.  I used the crackle technique and it looks like realistic logs.  If you have never tried this on minis or on real life furniture you are missing out on the antique look this gives you.  The first coat of  acrylic paint is what will show thru.  I used a cream color.  Any brand will work.  I believe mine is Americana.  The next coat is the crackle or weathered wood.  Apply and let dry.  This is clear and very sticky.  Before the paint companies came up with this we used Hyde glue, made from horses hoofs and very smelly.  Furniture Companies use this for joints in wood.   The last coat is the color you will use on top.  I used Pipe Rust.  Load your brush with a good quantity of paint, work quickly, and no overlaps, apply paint to the crackle coat in one direction.  It starts to crackle right away.  If you try to paint again it lifts all off and makes a mess.  If you have a gap wait until dry and dab the paint over it. 

I did this on the roof , the outside of the cabin and inside the walls and floors as well.   I still have the door and window trim to do.  It came out a little rugged and crooked in places but I like the effect.  I am going to use Spackle to fill in the grooves between the logs, perhaps add some sand for an authentic effect. 

My next blog is about a tag sale item I purchased a long time ago, I found it in the same closet.  It just so happens to just fit in this log cabin and fits with the theme.  Everything comes together in its own way in its own time.  I thank the powers that be that helps me find these things before I even know I will need them.
A miniature Greenhouse in  1/12 scale -A tiny retreat  to escape to where everything is blooming and growing and no weeds. Relax with a good book and a glass of ice tea.  The fountain is spraying water on your face in the corner, and the birds and butterflys are happy you are there.  In the corner is a mouse and frog just happy to be in your company.  The gold fish never demand to be fed . No phones, deadlines to be met, or annoying people.  Just you and Mother Nature.
 This little greenhouse is about 12x8 inches.  It is made from wood and clear plastic on the windows.  We have a store named Marc's in Ohio that gets lots of deep discount items.  I got this a few years ago and only bought 1.  It was only 3.99  What was I thinking, I should have bought more.  It has a lot of items in it but this one was very hard to photograph.  I painted the floor to look likes rocks.  I built all the potters tables out of wood coffee stir sticks.  All the plants were made by me.  The wicker lounge chair was from a friends estate.  The little cherub in the corner peeing is a fountain.  This came from  Christmas displays about 10 years ago.  I bought all they had at 75% and sold them all on E Bay.  The roof is clear glass as well and from the peaks I hung small spiders hanging from clear thread, they look like they are suspended in mid air.  Plants and greenhouses are my favorite to make.  They are so nice to have out in the winter when there is no green or flowers. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Log Cabin Project

Look what I found while cleaning my House.  Another project!

I purchased this in 1995 on sale at Michael's .  I  stored it in a closet and forgot about it.

Well , I just had to put it together when I found it  ,I stopped cleaning and started assembling this kit.  It could have been the kit, or maybe sitting since 1995, but all did not go well on this part of the adventure.  The logs were really crooked and pieces and parts  did not fit together as they said they would.  The floor is somewhat crooked and the boards really have cracks in them.  But, that's OK because I wanted this to be a really rustic log cabin like the settlers would have been forced to have.   Also in the same closet I found an old Scientific General Store Kit that I think would be great in this cabin.  My relatives were the first settlers in our township and they had a general store in their cabin  The length is about 18 inches and the same in the height.  I plan on making a stone fireplace for it.   It is only one room.  The time spent was well into the morning hours having started it early in the evening.

  Its exciting to start a new project and put other items on the back burner for a while.  After a rest the project is once again exciting and new.  Sometimes the hiatus has made a few changes in the plans to the overall project. 

With great anticipation I look forward to the Cleveland Miniature show this weekend.  We do not get that many shows  as we used to.  I always make a list of items needed, I always forget the list, and end up buying off the web anyway.   It will be great to get inspiration from the displays and see old friends.    With inspiration comes NEW PROJECTS!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coin purse remake into a carpet bag

Paper Binder Carpet Bag suitcase  click on picture for details

A fun, quick and inexpensive project using scrap materials and a paper binder clip available at office supply stores.  On the top picture you can see the small coin purse with the lovely embroidered design on it.  I got this at a flea market in a free box because the metal was broke and there was a hole in the back.  The black square at the top of it is the binder clip with the wire handle removed. It is 1" x 2" in size.  These binder clips come in all sizes.  There is one that is 1/2 inch and is about the size of a pocketbook.

I put the binder clip in the center of the floral design so I had flowers on both sides.  The top is pried open with a screw driver and the excess material is tucked into the top of the clip.  It will stay because it is so tight.  Now the cutting and tucking begins on each side.  Fold the top on the sides first and glue and hold with small clothes pins.  When that is dry fold raw edges in on the side bottom and fold up with glue.  Hold until dry.  That's it!  The handle is a twisted cord that I knotted and glued to the sides.  This is not designed to open again.  It is just to look like a carpet bag.

Any kind of material can be used on these.  Pleather, leather, looks very nice.  I thought this was a good way to use the lovely floral material that I had found. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Photo cube storage remake Chicken Coop  Click on each picture for details.

The above box started its life as a square photo storage box.  It was beat up and sad looking  in a free box at a garage sale.   7x8 " total 5 " deep.  I slanted the roof with cardboard and topped it off with groovy cardboard from a large 18 egg carton.  The box itself was painted black, crackle glazed, and then a coat of barn house red paint.  It has tiny crackle grooves in it.  The roof I painted silver,  let dry and then dry brushed turquoise and then sienna brown to resemble aged tin and rust.  the top lid slides aside so I put rusted screen in the back for screen doors.  Assorted mice are on the doors.  I cut out signage from googling eggs and chickens.  Glue the desired ones on cardboard and age with a little brown glazing paint.    I printed off newspaper prints from a free printie site and put that on brown tea dyed paper.  The walls are lined with that newspaper print  and the floors are from a piece of bamboo place mat found at the dollar store.  Looks just like floor boards. 

 The shelves were made from paint stir sticks cut to size.  Baskets filled with raffia are nests.  The chickens are ceramic chickens painted different colors that I purchased at a close out sale.  There are feed sacks and baskets of eggs , a broom, buckets, frogs, squirrel, shovel, a bale of hay.

  The large rooster wheel barrel was made from cardboard and is a pattern from an old Nutshell News magazine.  I used Coriander seeds painted white for the eggs.  The metal feeder in front is from a salt shaker top that lost its bottom.  The feed coming out is mustard seeds, small trinket chickens painted yellow for peeps are pecking at the food.    There is a lot in this little box that fits nicely on a shelf.  This coop was made by my next door neighbor and cousin Adrianne Young.  I assisted her in the techniques used in this project.  When finished it was given to her mother.  It was a wonderful recycle, reuse project.

My own chicken project in real life is also a rewarding project.  I can not believe how fast they grew.  Just like a child, feet growing large first, gangley, learning to fly.  Puff balls now with soft feathers.  The duck has become their leader, and body heat from them keeps them warm.  He follows them everywhere.  My little chicken that perched itself as leader just became to brave and a dog outwitted it.  I now have 5 chickens and the duck.  I enjoy taking each one in my arms and we talk to each other as I walk it over to the outside pen.  They enjoy sitting in my lap and we enjoy each others presence as we watch the sun go down.  They enjoy the little resue dog and peck at its nose as he licks their faces dry.   I never seem to have a camera when those great scenes present themselves.